Spyro The Dragon landed on the PlayStation One console back in September 1998. The platform game was developed by Insomniac games, who would also go on to give us other titles such as Ratchet and Clank, Resistance and Sunset Overdrive. They have also worked on more recent releases such as Song of the Deep and Spider-man.
Craig Stitt is a senior artist at Insomniac Games, and was originally credited with the early development of Spyro. After their initial game release was received poorly, he suggested the team work on a game featuring a dragon.
The game has left it’s imprint in the minds and hearts of gamers since it’s conception, here’s a brief walkthrough of the 3 game series.
Spyro The Dragon 1998
From it’s initial release in 1998, Spyro has become a renowned video game character, breathing fire, charging at his enemies, jumping and gliding through worlds, appropriating the title cute but deadly.
The first installment of the series took us through worlds where the villainous Gnasty Gnorc had crystallized other dragons, and Spyro had to take it upon himself to free them, along with his new found ally Sparx. To do so, he’s had to battle through Gnorc’s invasion force, collect the treasure stolen by Gnasty Gnorc’s henchmen, and go on to defeat Gnasty Gnorc himself, and if you couldn’t help yourself, killing a few sheep and other animals along the way.
The game featured six homeworlds, named after the Dragon clans which live there : Artisans, Peace keepers, Magic Crafters, Beast Makers, Dream Weavers, and the home of the villain, Gnasty’s World.
After as successful release, the game was again made available for the PlayStation 3, PSP and PS Vita consoles in 2007, but only in America and Japan first, with availability in Europe following after.
Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage 1999
Back in November 1999, the second installment came out, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage. The game was named Spyro: Gateway to Glimmer in Europe and Australia, and in Japan it was called Spyro & Sparx: Tondemo Tours. Although the game was originally released in 1999, Japan received a later release in March 2000.
Gnasty Gnorc is defeated, time for a vacation. Spyro and Sparx head for Dragon shores, instead, the portal diverts him to a land called Avalar, as the inhabitants known as Hunter, Elora and Professor are in in need of a dragon’s help. A sorcerer named Ripto is causing bedlam throughout the land, and just as Gnasty Gnorc met his end, Ripto needs to meet his demise too, so peace can be restored.
Avalar is split up into three homeworlds, named after seasons in the year. These homeworlds are: Winter Tundra, Autumn Plains and Summer Forest.
New abilities were introduced which included climbing and swimming, and new characters such as fauns and Satyrs were also added.
Previously, the character of Spyro the Dragon was voiced by Carlos Alazraqui, however in the follow up game, Ripto’s Rage, Spyro would now be voiced by Tom Kenny.
Spyro Year of the Dragon 2000
The third and final installment for the Spyro The Dragon series was Year of The Dragon. The game was released in 2000, it was named The Year of the Dragon after the Chinese zodiac year.
Rather than teaching Spyro new moves, and allowing players to explore new areas, the developers also including playable levels for different characters. Players could play as Sparx in certain levels, and also as Spyro’s ally Hunter, who was available to play during racing events, as well as other unlockable characters throughout the game.
A sorceress was introduced as the main protagonist, along with her apprentice, Bianca.
Rather like the homeworlds in Ripto’s Rage, they were not named after season in the year, but instead times of day. These homeworlds were called Midnight Mountain, Sunrise Spring, Evening Lake and Midday Gardens.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
Spyro has become a classic character throughout the years and more recently earned itself a remaster for those of us wishing to relive the nostalgia of our earlier gaming years. Spyro Reignited was released in November 2018 on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.
The original 3 games went on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide.
As the name suggests, the remaster includes the complete trilogy of the Spyro games and has received favourable reviews.
Spyro reignited was a well deserved credit to the original release, bringing the colourful, vibrant dragon worlds to life again in HD.